SoftBank Vision Fund Runs With Unicorns


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Indian finances lodging: SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) Vision Fund led a $1B funding spherical in Indian finances lodging firm OYO. SoftBank accounted for $800M of the whole with the rest coming from Lightspeed, Sequoia, and Greenoaks Capital. OYO stated there’s one other $20M that hasn’t been dedicated from unnamed buyers.

OYO aggregates price range inns and hostels in India and checks to ensure the places meet a guidelines of requirements. The corporate has expanded into different lodgings and verticals together with wedding ceremony planning. The startup claims to have over 10Okay franchised or leased resorts within the community, which spans 350 cities and 5 nations. OYO expanded into China this previous summer time, the place OYO claims it has reached 87Okay rooms in 171 cities, and moved into the UK this month.

Competitors: Fabhotels with $35M in backing from the likes of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT), ZEN Rooms ($23M in funding), and Treebo Motels ($57M in funding.)

Actual property startup: SoftBank Vision Fund gave $400M to Opendoor, a house shopping for and promoting startup, for a minority fairness stake. Opendoor additionally acquired $2B in debt financing from unnamed banks. Opendoor’s complete funding now stands at over $1B. SoftBank managing director Jeff Housenbold will take a board seat on the startup.

Opendoor bids on homes sight unseen, agrees to purchase the property, after which performs an inspection earlier than promoting the house. The corporate costs a mean charge of 6.5% for its providers. Opendoor has traditionally labored with these needing to promote a home shortly because of a life occasion like shifting for work, however the startup is more and more specializing in serving to householders purchase a house and just lately acquired Open Listings for that function.

Competitors: Knock ($34.5M in complete funding).

Actual property tech: SoftBank Vision Fund co-led a $400M funding in actual property tech startup Compass at a $four.4B valuation. Qatar Funding Authority shared the lead within the Collection F spherical with different buyers together with Wellington, IVP, and Constancy. Compass will use the funds on home progress, constructing out its tech platform, after which on shifting outdoors america.

The Compass platform gives straightforward, clear methods for house owners to record, market, and promote properties together with all the related transaction paperwork. The corporate says it has over 7K brokers on the bottom, triple final yr’s quantity, and is shifting in the direction of its objective of controlling 20% of all residential property gross sales within the prime 20 U.S. markets. Compass achieved $34B in gross sales this yr, up from $14.8B in 2017, and is on monitor to make $1B.

Competitors: Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN), and startups like Zumper ($77.5M in funding.)

Cost processing: Sq. (NYSE:SQ) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) competitor Stripe raised $245M from Tiger International and DST Capital at a $20B valuation. The board gained new members in VMware vet Jonathan Chadwick and Amazon vet Michelle Wilson.

*Stripe will use the brand new funds to gasoline worldwide enlargement (the corporate additionally introduced a brand new Singapore-based engineering hub) and to deal with extra giant accounts. New shoppers embrace Uber, Didi Chuxing, and Spotify. The funding provides extra gasoline to the IPO rumors.

AI-backed hiring: Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) Ventures and Workday (NYSE:WDAY) Ventures participated in a $40M fundraise for AI-backed hiring firm Pymetrics. Basic Atlantic led with assists from present buyers Jazz Enterprise Companions and Khosla Ventures.

Pymetrics makes use of a mixture of neuroscience and AI to match corporations with the perfect job candidates, who play a collection of video games with outcomes when in comparison with the highest performers already working in that place. Over 60 corporations use the tech in hiring together with Unilever, Hyatt, and Accenture. Pymetrics says some corporations have skilled a 20% improve in hiring variety and 65% improve in retention charges. The brand new funds will let Pymetrics proceed product improvement and to broaden its market outdoors the USA.

Competitors: Careerify, which was acquired by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) LinkedIn in 2015.

Sustainable prefab housing: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa Fund invested in a $6.7M spherical for Plant Prefab, a startup that makes use of sustainable development practices to construct prefabricated single household and multiunit houses. Apparent Ventures additionally participated within the spherical.

Plant Prefab needs to make use of automation to construct houses quicker and for decrease prices. Amazon Alexa Fund, which usually focuses on voice tech startups, needs to assist transfer the voice assistant deeper into the sensible house area. Plant Prefab has thus far solely designed a couple of dozen premium tasks for consumers in California and Utah, however the firm’s targeted on getting into city areas and turning into “the first trusted, reliable national brand” of prefab housing.

In search of funds: SoftBank was among the many corporations speaking with Chinese language startup Bytedance to boost no less than $3B at a $75B valuation. KKR and Common Atlantic have been additionally concerned within the talks. Bytedance’s Douyin (or Tik Tok) brief video platform had 500M lively customers as of July. Final yr, the corporate acquired for nearly $1B.

Editor’s Word: This text discusses a number of securities that don’t commerce on a serious U.S. change. Please concentrate on the dangers related to these shares.


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